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Issue Date: May 2016
When Commission President Juncker talks about a "multiple crisis", he is certainly right. The question is how to overcome this crisis and how to rebuild trust in democratic institutions Low voter turnout and massive support for populist and right-wing extremists are the worrying expression of a tendency for more and more people to turn away from democracy.
Issue Date: April 2016
I have often insisted that it is high time for the EU to demonstrate its willingness and capacity to be close to European citizens and to defend social rights, particularly in times of crisis. The EESC haswarmly welcomed the invitation form the Commission President, Mr. Juncker to contribute to the establishment of a European Pillar of Social Rights, a set of principles that will support efficient and fair labour markets and welfare systems. The EESC has already prepared an ambitious work programme that aims to present an opinion for adoption in October 2016.
Issue Date: March 2016
The current State of the Union is a cause for genuine concern.
The humanitarian drama continues unabated at the borders of the European Union, where people continue to move in search of a safer, better and more promising life. The massive scale of these movements has already had huge political repercussions right across the EU and it may be legitimate to ask the provocative question of whether one can still even speak of a Union
Issue Date: February 2016
Europe: a space of freedom and prosperity for people
Over the last few weeks, political debate at European level has been focusing on ways to address the refugee crisis, including a discussion on whether or not the Schengen zone should be suspended.
Issue Date: January 2016
The New Year is already upon us, and the flow of migrants and refugees towards Europe continues. The lack of a coordinated European response and of a strategic approach is giving citizens the impression that there is a loss of control, whatever that control might be.
Issue Date: December 2015
Who else, if not civil society?
With the results of the second round of the French regional elections some time has been gained. But only if there is real change, shifting from financial recovery to real social investment facilitating policies that create more cohesion and more inclusive societies. If the winner takes it all, the loser is likely to reject the system, leading to exclusion and worse.
Issue Date: October 2015
I had the honour and pleasure to be invited by Georges Dassis to his
inauguration as president of the European Economic and Social Committee in front of a partly renewed assembly.
The Committee represents many common interests, giving us the means to better understand and tackle the economic, social and political crisis confronting Europe today, a crisis that is making people turn away from the noble ideal of European integration and democracy.
Issue Date: September 2015
In his speech on the state of the Union, Commission president Juncker made it perfectly clear that action had to be taken to tackle the challenges of migration and the refugee crisis, to work out a social agenda to finally make headway towards a triple-A social Europe and to think about the value of Europe and the need for more Europe.
Issue Date: May 2015
“Review – renew – reset”
It was the motto of the 2015 annual ECI Day, organised by the EESC together with ECAS – member of the Liaison Group - and other partner organisations actively involved in the development of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI).
The event took place at a critical moment, with the new European Commission and European Parliament in place following the recent elections, and on the eve of the planned review of the ECI Regulation.
Issue Date: March 2015
European Year of Development
Yet another European Year has been launched. In addition to the usual suspects in the development community directly concerned, European Years always provide an opportunity to address a broader public. Recent years have witnessed a debate on development policy coherence and this process has been accompanied by an important terminological change: private sector organisations enter the arena as "non-State players" and no real distinction is drawn between development cooperation based on values and partnership, on one hand, and trade and investment for private capital interests, on the other.